Summing Up the New Hampshire GOP Debate

Terry Moran, Amy Walter and David Chalian weigh in on how the candidates fared.
16:55 | 01/07/12

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Transcript for Summing Up the New Hampshire GOP Debate
Our colleagues in Manchester, New Hampshire they're slicing and dicing the debate the -- news W yard Yahoo!. It's cosponsored tonight that Republican presidential debate and let's go right to the spin room up there and Manchester. David jolly whose Yahoo! News Washington bureau chief -- Walters our political director there right now particularly. That's right here we are we're where the action news after the debate and all in the campaign -- -- the -- and a folksy speak for the campaigns come here trying to talk about how their candidate wine. One of those surrogates with us tonight first no spin no snow is always -- -- -- governor Tom Ridge course Pennsylvania supporter. Former governor Huntsman. -- -- I think again governor Huntsman demonstrated in his own very moderate in some way which is his nature. Kind of vision that I think. We'll resonate well known in New Hampshire from demonstrates in my -- right. Consult with a bit of his heart his head in his soul tonight it's capable rumors of civil union. Problem for some of the -- And understanding and appreciation made a lot of sacrifices and Afghanistan but it's time we we drive down the troops. These special forces there you can tell -- -- some capability there. We think we start focusing on another part of the world and very smooth and hard. It's -- meeting places like that and then his strong commitment to dramatic change because its tax records returned from the Wall Street Journal said and he repeated it. He missed economic plan out -- so it didn't take all those -- questions and pulled together it's a good vision for America. But the special sauce that you need is a spark right that he actually Alter the trajectory of the race that has. He's worked this state harder than almost any other candidate. The stars at least he's put all the things in the name domestic did you do something might -- to -- that -- Romney walked away on steep. Well he should journalists and emit an enormous regard ferment. As a personal friend like that you walk and scathing listen carefully their questions and answers and he -- some answers. But if you listen carefully -- pick -- what -- aliens. Well listen that we. We got that did anything yet -- discussion about that life liberty and -- after this. And some of those on the very rhetorical and uplifting news answers -- not really respond to the question. When he talked about he's going to be so tough on child fact of the matter is that is relationship that has to -- you -- it. The commander in chief of the new president to manage that very very careful because it's not just. Devalue the currency its relationship to North Korea mixes up his relationship to defense that's -- they -- they're competing in that part of the world. Jon Huntsman knows better than anybody else on that stage between security and prosperity. Are -- to how you. He's the only one in that state demonstrated capacity due. The question for you here we have Jon Huntsman. We -- in his England -- -- very -- -- still in single digits. Don't send -- there's an expectation that Mitt Romney wins here we don't know where Jon Huntsman where he's tough on Election Day. But if he does not succeed here. What does this say about the future of that model at least the Republican Party view of course held that position very well. Is it isn't isn't over him. What will personalized for slightly depending on what -- you look at he had some of -- and 17% and so I think he's already exceeded expectations and New Hampshire. And started at -- depending on the poll was perhaps there. Who knows they're sometimes people. He's a very strong nonjudgmental. Concerned he's got a very strong conservative. Mind -- -- of the United Nations but he does say some very good CNN very appropriate things. If you have a group of scientists have done some conclusions you better pay attention to the scientist. That they're there -- that one credible question from Yahoo! about civil unions there's. It's not being anything other than legitimate comparison special -- and by the way he. Shared by most Americans so. He's already exceeded expectations here this is very unpredictable state hasn't been an underdog -- -- Very very well very -- thank you some moderately -- believed he had planned to talk back to Cameron and Washington. All right thanks guys -- thanks to governor -- yet there. Pumping for his candidate Jon Huntsman junior wanted to ask you Jake -- was talking about the 2008 democratic primaries. And that fierce battle that was between Barack Obama. And and Hillary Clinton and I just wonder. You lived through that what's the advantage that what are we learning from that in this campaign. Let's it's it's mystifying to me because we went 323 debates than many -- -- debates war are. Eight candidate debates and mr. Torre came -- and in this time seven candidates attacked Hillary Clinton. And because everyone was actually competing to be. That nominee says hello and it is azeris and game they're telling anyone percent and so why there throughout the Republican campaign people have been. And number two has been attacking number three number four is attacking -- three -- detecting an amber -- candidate is it is a mystery -- that I do not understand why I'm. The tragedy of the commons. It is in everybody's personal and best interest to appear positive. It is in the collective its best interest to attack Mitt Romney so -- will be the person to take the job. And everybody's hoping and waiting that someone else -- -- mean their certain people who know that they're not going to be the nominee they're certainly not going to but among the people who have a chance to win. Everybody's hoping this happened by the way and not -- away -- in 04 when Joseph Lieberman. Finally went after Howard Dean. It took a long time nobody wants to be the guy who goes negative because when you go negative. That McGwire hitting goes months of the year. Now and it attacked Hillary Clinton's it would have been an -- that's the weird as it was happening here this -- is it part. -- the nature of the Republican Party that. Everybody figured somebody was gonna go after Iran Iran is gonna come down a notch and the pool of voters that was available. They believe is a unified pool of conservative Christian voters so they were competing for not -- to second place. But the pool of voters that they thought it's -- if he's around its. Gang warfare by the way it's a turf battle you always hate the guy who's taking your terror. More than that more than your real that's part of what it is so -- if you work Michelle Bachmann you hate Rick Perry more than you hit rock. Mitt Romney. That that's doesn't make sense at the end of the day because that problem for Michelle black man and for Rick Perry and differ. All these candidates is there's another one doing better than all of them and that's why. That's really fascinates me that -- pol spent on his time. Going after Santorum and Gingrich indignantly -- single glove really means had said nice things about rounding factor at the brass. And as someone -- that the candidates who had that the best night are Tim Pawlenty Herman Cain. Let let's let go back to Manchester where I believe our our colleagues have one Rick Santorum top. That's right joining us here John drink vendors than the -- -- campaign now for quite some time since birth. -- very beginning understands -- right. -- -- listens to the media. Talking about this. -- and social media what you heard was -- and missed his chance to make his contrast. -- -- That's the problem a lot of the pundits want to see a lot of negative campaign -- and so when I think what the senator did Eizenstat. And a very confidently laid out -- differences with Mitt Romney I -- probably the key point. It was -- -- Mitt Romney gets a middle class middle class middle class and Rick Santorum said we got to remove that right this is the United States America where we have no class. And -- get away from them the Obama class warfare I think he also distinguish himself talking about the difference between his economics plan. And how. Mitt Romney has no foreign policy experience and Rick has exceptional foreign policy experience and if we're -- -- this president Republicans. We have to have somebody to have this -- -- Experience yeah. Sort of had to -- the debate the late night but -- candidate earlier this week -- in Iowa. Where he said it you don't need to CEO we needed and energy and we. You can't sort of management. You can't tell what -- the president doesn't. Have Americans -- where he made a real populist appeals passion closing is not. -- -- -- -- He does not want him -- message. From the top and not -- just not -- -- -- kind of funny we except answer the questions that are asked us. So -- -- -- that as the do it than in the senator is actually pretty good at not ducking questions and take him. In fact just today even with this debate -- three town hall meetings. One of them had we're expecting to hear people thousands showed up and the good news is all these same questions he answered. But the interesting Davis everybody keep saying here's what he has to do you think this strategically. What we -- last week in Iowa. Is basically he and Mitt Romney and -- -- Despite all the money that Romney spent which says to me. That we have the right message and the right messenger and somebody just -- -- big check isn't the only thing that's coming from -- the United States. Happy doing what during the -- freezing tomorrow we. Mitt Romney won this debate because nobody lady -- -- do you think that this can help -- at all. Would you think that we're going to be good -- where we are. Look Rick Santorum a -- for example that we don't know they're there there's a poll in South Carolina today but last this week -- of them now virtually tied. I think what people thought that Rick Santorum has everything it takes to be present in the United States. And I think people want to see that that he was tested tonight and I think he's scored extremely well very quickly last question. You've got a problem -- the split the conservative vote vote vote in South Carolina and Newt Gingrich Rick Perry still in the race. Do you need them to get -- to actually -- your candidate make a stand against they can stay there we just need the voters to unite behind Rick Santorum what happened in Iowa. What's that even though there is all those people -- -- Michelle Bachman was still there they've voted -- said Rick Santorum is a viable. What consensus conservative -- -- behind them we -- other concerns this evening places like South Carolina plumbing and thank you so. For joining us appreciate an -- I think. Insight there from inside this Santorum campaign and there is polling data which shows that -- remains very. Very highest the second choice for a lot of the other candidate's supporters -- just go to one more graphical. Image of your reactions. This debate our friends at bluefin labs have put this together this is the social media mentions on on twitters on Twitter. All the tweets -- it by far Ron Paul wins the night on Twitter that he was -- -- tonight -- into some of these. His rivals but that's also I think a reflection of how vibrant his online presence is. But then as we close of the night here. Interestingly a fruit vendor sent about -- -- say I think Rick Santorum does have to show that he is a viable candidate and and is to -- that he could actually be electable that would does take some argument away from around me is his number one argument that he's actually -- -- the most electable candidates have. It is some -- of explanation for some behavior that seems mystifying otherwise -- is that taking shots at me. Other -- in -- in the spin room. Saying he did -- background on the let the call the spent a good job greater spending cuts I think that he did not attack Mitt Romney. If he did it was very obliquely but look I think that Rick Santorum didn't miss an opportunity his populous. Manufacturing message is what distinguishes them there are a lot of Americans out there who are struggling who love that message. And he should've -- it and and the first five minutes of the debate. You can ask a question about anything and I can and -- -- but let me tell you most important thing. In this election and why I'm running land and -- he could -- -- to that Romney is sitting governor Romney let me talk about you let me ask you. That's you do it they did not do it right. He -- he did provide that answer he did have a theory Strang cancer that really contrast it. -- -- needs time in -- three slashing dad and his time as a person -- understands the struggles. And I won't -- middle class Americans against a -- I don't even that Americans. But he kids eat didn't -- that case against. -- forget that late in the day. And he's not used to being -- to not used to being in the center states that made it obvious -- and its economic. -- once more around the horn. Put yourself in the White House in the Obama campaign you watch this debate you watching the race shape what are you thinking how you feel. I I think they will ask a lot of questions of why am I feel business partner in taking and -- -- in today I'll understand that he's at her busy and happy. And this central argument that it around me -- as he tried to demonstrate today is one on the economy and the president should feel pretty get because we had 200000 jabs yesterday and people of being feel better about the academy. And if the economy strengthens we'll see we'll look back at this debate -- me around he built a case against. Brack Obama that was Iran keys to -- and he would not be the best nominee for them. I think that you make a very good point. Mitt Romney is very good at raising money and organization in that regard he will be -- tough opponent for Barack Obama but I think in terms of positioning. Rick Santorum would actually be tougher. Rick Santorum will be very tough in places like Ohio and Michigan the swing states that you need to at Pennsylvania. He could appeal I think and at a and a way to two while working class Americans Catholics who by the way are the swing vote who determine when the president. And terms of positioning. Rick Santorum is very tough for Barack Obama to be -- -- make Mitt Romney into Gordon Gekko. And David what do you think that is is. Is the White House right now looking at this field as it's shaping up after this debate and saying well you know we're gonna get Romney and that's okay. You know I think I think they're looking in I think we're gonna get Romney had been planning -- Romney. And we think that -- he's getting it was the -- of I mean I actually think. They don't look -- Romney in some delicious opportunity. He's in the they've been so focused on Mitt Romney as much as they happen is tiger is this yeah. That is actually running -- presidential style campaign on that scale back the money that kind of -- In some battleground states like -- -- Now that -- on that not necessarily work here in New Hampshire not -- part of the -- guarantee. All that state -- and and I have not at all could. White House site. New bombing Iraq is a very quickly I think they would have liked him to -- on the long needed -- here and let him get a little blood even -- -- makes him a little stronger in the end. We have to start the general election. And now. They're prepared to do it but I don't think it's. Their -- until I -- -- that's right and I also think that they would have liked to have seen. Them that populist argument that not only. Angela had been making on the -- earlier but also new Gingrich is trying to make his wealth and Bain Capital going after the -- laying people -- That that kind of economic. Record that we know that the White House can go after Mitt Romney work -- -- great to have on tape. We'll -- Republicans. Sings about Mitt Romney so it doesn't look simply like. This is -- democratic liberal stuff. Okay. That is possibly with the White House wants there's one wild card of course. Left enough left but standing and running and well funded and determined in the Republican Party -- -- Ron Paul. He's in -- for the long haul they are planning caucus strategy similar to what Barack Obama did. During a crucial period in the 2008 race. And there's no question that Ron Paul is going to come to the Republican Convention with quite a few delegates behind him. They don't like politics. As usual and and could cause the Republicans some -- I just want to thank. Our guests tonight -- ten of the Center for American Progress Matt Lewis the daily caller. David jolly and Washington bureau chief of Yahoo! News and Amy Walters ABC's political director thanks to all that's the New Hampshire debate. Primaries on Tuesday don't forget George is back as Diane remind -- George Stephanopoulos back at this week best political mind on television. Respect to all here. Respect to -- as well I'm Terry Moran thanks for being.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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